In 1971, a group of young Boulder Artists had the idea to open a member-owned arts and crafts gallery – an artist cooperative – on what would soon be the Pearl Street Mall in Downtown Boulder, CO. Now, fifty years later, and after a year of COVID, Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery has announced they are closing their doors for good.
March 17-21, 2021, the art gallery will offer “In Gratitude for 50 Years Sale!” with 40% off everything in the store. This sale is not available on our website – come shop in our store one last time for something special for you or to gift your friends and family. And use that Gift Card you’ve been saving!
One of the longest running artist co-ops
As of 2021, Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery is one of the oldest artist cooperatives in the United States. It is owned by 18 members who have been part of the magic for over thirty years. In its heyday, there were over eighty owner-contributing members.
Anne Gifford, owner/member since 1980 and watercolor artist, said “The store started off as a small hippie art gallery that quickly morphed into a fine arts and crafts destination for art enthusiasts in Boulder and beyond. We’ve hosted artists from all over the U.S. and many young artists got their start here. We are proud to have helped new artists gain confidence in themselves and many are still making their living as artists.”
The Co-op has always been known as the perfect place to find one-of-a-kind gifts with a wide range of creative arts over the years: ceramics, painting, photography, glass art, jewelry, woodworks, sculpture, metal art and furniture. Art greeting cards have been a perennial favorite!
The Co-op has given back to the community for many years with their annual Souper Bowlder event, where local potters donated bowls for purchase, to benefit local and artist charities like EFAA, BCAP, Community Food Share, Blue Sky Bridge, Women’s Bean Project and CERF+. The event was always a success – who wouldn’t want to hang out, eat soup, listen to live music – and then you got to keep your bowl! Many Boulderites took this opportunity to add to their pottery collections while giving back to those in need.
The crazy, determined, talented people who kept the business going for so long are what made the Co-op so special. Because it was a cooperative, the various tasks of running the business fell to the artists themselves—who found they developed new skill sets to do the job.
After so many years, however, the aging group has been faced with increasing operating costs, and then COVID hit – sales declined in such a way that continuing to operate seemed less and less feasible.
Gifford “Please – stop in to say goodbye before April 4th. Find a treasure or two that you‘ve always wanted. We are extremely grateful for the decades of community support from Boulderites and art enthusiasts and collectors around the world. Thank you.”
• March 24-28th 60% off everything
• March 31-April 4th 80% off everything
• LAST DAY: Easter Sunday! Our doors are closing April 4th.